In addition to completely sterilizing all instruments we use, liberal use of disposables and barriers, we have also responded proactively to concerns about bacteria which inevitably live and grow in water lines from municipal water supplies. All of the coolant water which comes out of our dental units in our handpieces is isolated from city water by a separate system of tubing which allows us to supply our own water, distilled and sterile, to our dental units. In addition, at night the water lines are purged to insure that bacterial counts are always well below tap water and your visits to our office will always be safe!
The vacuum, high heat, and steam used to autoclave each and every handpiece takes a significant toll on the bearings and the turbines. In order to thoroughly sterilize handpieces after each use we have accepted and absorbed significant costs to routinely replace these turbines and bearings. Each turbine/bearing assembly costs approximately $350. to replace, and this needs to be done quite often. Unfortunately, the technology of the bearings and fiber optics has not evolved to adequately cope with the stresses of frequent autoclaving. Unlike hospitals that can itemize and bill for all additional costs involved in patient treatment, there are many costs similar to this that we incur that are not separately charged to patients that figure into the cost of modern dental treatment and are absolutely essential to insure everyone’s safety. We refuse to cut corners to save money on your safety!
Until next time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD